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Shona Chambers is a freelance marketing consultant with a career spanning over 20 years, working with both large and small companies. Shona has also created her own businesses, including a networking group for the self employed and freelance community, Self Employed Club.

Today she shares her tips and advice on how to both launch and market your product.

Read the transcript

Listen in to hear Shona share:

  • Why you need to start thinking about marketing and building and audience before you have a product to sell (2:18)
  • How and where to find your ideal customers (4:00)
  • How to engage authentically (7:54)
  • When (and why) to get your own social media channels set up (10:50)
  • Using your social media channels to drive traffic back to your website (13:50)
  • The type of content to share on social media (15:33)
  • How blogging can help your marketing efforts (19:26)
  • How to encourage people to sign up for your email list – and why emailing consistently is important (22:19)
  • How and why to create a lead magnet that’s relevant to your customers (28:19)
  • How often to email – and what to say! (32:42)
  • Creating a simple marketing plan (36:51)
  • What what kind of things a professional marketer can do for you (39:24)
  • The costs of marketing support (41:47)
  • Shona’s book – what it is, who it’s for and where to find it (42:50)

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Transcript

Launching and marketing your physical product – with Shona Chambers

INTRO (:

Welcome to the, bring your product ideas to life podcast, practical advice, and inspiration to help you create and sell your own physical products. Here's your host Vicki Weinberg,

Vicki Weinberg (:oking to launch a product in:Vicki Weinberg (:

It'll save you a lot of money, and of course, I'll be here to help you along the way. So if you'd like any more information on either of the courses, just go to Vicki, weinberg.com and you'll find everything you need there on with the show. Hi, and welcome to today's episode. So today our guest is Shona Chambers. Shona is a freelance marketing consultant with a career span in over 20 years, working with both large and small companies. Shona helps small business owners create marketing that sells their products and services. So today is going to be all about sharing as best advice on how to launch a market, your physical products. Once you have it ready for set us out, it's going to be really valuable episode as always. I hope you enjoy it. And I'd love to introduce you to Shona.

Vicki Weinberg (:

Well, hi Shona. Thanks so much for being here.

Shona Chambers (:

Thank you.

Vicki Weinberg (:

So could you just tell us a little bit about yourself please?

Shona Chambers (:

Yeah, sure. So I'm Shona Chambers, I'm a marketing consultant. I normally work with small businesses, but in the past I have also worked quite a lot with big corporations as well. And I live in psych based London. And so I recently wrote a book, a hundred marketing tips for small business owners as well. Fantastic.

Vicki Weinberg (:

Thank you. And we will definitely talk about your book a bit later because I would love to, to dig into that a

little bit more. So I've invited you here today, as you know, to talk about how to norm and permeate your physical product. As you know, it's podcasts, it's aimed at people just getting started in product creation. And obviously once you've got your product ready and ready to sell, you need to start talking about it and sharing it and sort of getting some attention for it. And so I would love to know some ideas you have around that. And in fact, I think that your advice probably to start even before your products ready, is that right?

Shona Chambers (:

Yes, definitely. I think it's, it's so important to start building a rapport With the audience that you hope is going to buy your product. So finding out the best places for that audience on the internet so that you can start to build a presence for and start to deliver content that is actually valuable to that audience as well, which means that they'll be looking forward to receiving something further from you as well. Yeah. You can't really start that process too far for so many, even six months ahead would give you a really good run-up. So actually building an audience so excited to hear from you when you're ready to actually bring your products to market.

Vicki Weinberg (:

Thank you. So what we've done then, cause an exercise before about customer market research that we won't go into too much detail on that now, because people can go back and listen to those. So is this about finding out where your potential customers would be in terms of what sort of channels and then creating content that meets their interests?

Shona Chambers (:

Yes, absolutely. So I mean, once you know who your audience is and who you're trying to reach, you know, the best thing that you can do is to start to look for them, the communities of people online. So there's so many great communities already out there that you can become part of and build a kind of trust relationship with people so that when it comes time to you actually bringing out the product that you have for them, they already know you as the voice of or authority. So, you know, it's about looking at whether it's Facebook, Facebook is a great place for small businesses to start to look for community depending on what your product is.

Shona Chambers (:

Particularly if it's something to do with parenting, there's some really strong communities on Facebook for that, which I can mention by name or not depending on, you know, preference. But I think it's, it's kind of paying attention to the days where you're allowed to promote yourself in those groups, because not all the days, the, the hosts like you to do that, you can kind of make yourself almost a timetable of which days that you're allowed to mention your yourself and introduce yourself in a group. And then just making sure that you're visible there and not only trying to promote yourself, but trying to help fully respond to people's questions as well.

Shona Chambers:

So often people will post in groups, things that are relevant to you, and you can start to respond to them just as a human being interested in giving useful, helpful advice to people. And that starts to build that trusted relationship. And then gradually as you start to think about launching, you've got an organic audience, which is, you know, not to be sniffed up these days, it's quite hard. You know, social media is costing us more and more money. So the more that you can do to grow an organic base, the better. And I'm talking a lot about Facebook there, but I mean, it could be that LinkedIn is a better place for you to build a community, you know, or other tools online.

Shona Chambers (:

It's all about thinking about your audience and thinking about where they naturally would be.

Vicki Weinberg (:

So when we're talking about things like Facebook groups, would you be joining communities for small business owners, or would you be looking at communities for your customers or, or both?

Shona Chambers (:

I think there's a degree with both, to be honest, you know, there's, there's, you can never have too many supporters and obviously as a small business owner, you need to be supported yourself. But in terms of growing awareness of you as a person, you know, there's nothing to stop you joining him with Facebook groups that have a purpose that are aligned to your business. And just being that particularly if you are, for

example, political or a parent, and you're, you're launching a parenting product, some kind, whether it's clothing or, you know, skin care or anything like that, you know, there's no reason that you can't also join in as a parent, but you're there for, you know, the rest of the audience as well.

Vicki Weinberg (:

That makes sense, because I guess that is quite, I think it's good to when you're launching a product, essentially as, you know, a small business or it, most of us are just doing it on our own. It's good to people to see that there's a person behind the product as well. I suppose that makes it was more personal. And so how far in advance would you be telling people about your quote? I mean, would you things, would you be telling people that you had a product coming or what sort of things would you be saying before the product actually available?

Shona Chambers (:

So I think, you know, if you're looking to leverage your personal brand as well, we all have a personal brand. We all have our personality, the things that we're interested in and our beliefs. So, you know, there's, if, if you, you know, you're not quite sure exactly what your product is going to be, but maybe you've got a general idea, but you're not quite ready to launch. There's nothing to stop you joining with groups and just, you know, starting to connect with people on a natural level. And, you know, I think if you are particularly

committed in a certain direction that will come across. So if you are someone who's eco-conscious, then it makes sense for you to be joining them with conversations about that.

Shona Chambers (:

And in fact, it makes you seem more authentic as somebody who is interested in bringing a product to market within that, that sector. So I think it's, you know, it's, you're never too early to really start engaging with the audiences that will eventually become your customers, even if you're not quite sure what it, that you're going to bring them eventually.

Vicki Weinberg (:

Yeah. Thank you. Because I think that's something that could be quite hard is that if you, you know, you're doing some groups perhaps, and you're starting to build up, trust is something I think people shy away from myself included is suddenly switching the conversation to say, Hey, I've got a product coming out in a few weeks that can feel a bit icky. Do you know what I mean? A bit salesy. So how would you suggest you can go about sharing your product without feeling like you're doing a sales pitch?

Shona Chambers (:

I suppose it's about looking for the, the natural, the natural benefits that you're bringing to people with your product. So, you know, you're not trying to sell them on the actual thing that you're trying to sell them on the experience that you're going to offer them. You know, if you've got a problem and you need to solve it, you will be grateful to hear about solutions. You know, I've worked with people in the past year who they've launched clothing lines for children, with eczema problems, you know, and, and they've said that the, the kind of community that they've generated around them, it's been amazing because people generally find that products in that area can be really expensive.

Shona Chambers (:

So having an offering that's mid range, people were interested to hear about it. So, you know, I think it is about bringing your story across, why are you doing the thing that you're doing? Why do you care? And I think it helps when people can see why you're aligned with the product that you're trying to launch.

Vicki Weinberg (:

Thank you. So as well as joining in Facebook groups and perhaps other groups in other channels, would you also recommend getting your own social media set up? So social media profiles for your, your business and your product?

Shona Chambers (:

Yes. As soon as possible, because it takes time to build audience and, you know, you might find that, you know, you want people to be listening when you've got something to say to them. So I think even if you set up your, so to me, tears, deciding which ones that you're going to prioritize, then, you know, you can put time

into engagement. So that's going out and finding people who will be interested in, you know, what you've got to offer when the time comes for the launch, but it doesn't always have to be about building sales audience. You're just looking to build up people who are interested in the topics that you're talking about and going off to chats with them on their profiles as well, that helps you to build visibility.

Shona Chambers (:

So, yeah, it's almost like you've got a few jobs to do there deciding where you want to be, especially for a new business owner. I wouldn't recommend trying to be everywhere because you've got to maintain those channels. So it's sort of thinking about as a commitment on top of everything else that you've got to do, how many things can you do well? So what kind of content do you enjoy sharing? If you're somebody that likes to do a lot of video and a lot of stories, then it might be the Instagram is a great place to be. If you prefer talking to a smaller audience, you might want to set up a Facebook group and start to do a few lives in there. And, you know, maybe bring in other people that you think would be interesting to your audience too.

Shona Chambers (:

And it's just trying to make sure that the profiles that you do establish feel natural and authentic to the product that's coming. And so the audience who will be receiving that information.

Vicki Weinberg (:

Thank you. So yeah, if you could put up question, so in terms of social media channels, especially when you're just getting started, so you have maybe, maybe your products available, maybe it's coming. Would you recommend you just use one channel to get started or try and, well, I'm guessing what you said. You wouldn't try and be everywhere, but is there like an optimum number of channels as in, is it better to do two really well than to do five half heartedly? Where is there a sort of a sweet spot? How many you think you should be on?

Shona Chambers (:

Well, if I can sort of turn it around a little bit, social media is great, but I always recommend that my clients invest more time in their own owned channels, which is things like websites and email lists. So I think social media is brilliant and you should totally invest in it, but you want to almost think to yourself, right? I want to, I want to be gathering email addresses from people that would be interested to hear from me about my product. And so I want to be building up traffic to a website that I'll eventually be hoping to sell my product from. So you want to think about what content that you can kind of create that you can share on to your websites, maybe into your emails and your blogs.

Shona Chambers (:

If you're going to send out that way. And you want to maybe think about using your social media as channels to drive people back to your own owned platforms. So in that way, I would think maybe starting off with a Facebook is quite good for first sort of traffic to somewhere else. And Instagram is getting better, but it has

got some drawbacks and sure people already know, you know, you can't easily send people to a link in Instagram. You can't have one in your bio, but if you're doing a lot of stories, you can't help people to directly click out to a link until they get to a certain amount of followers, which is currently 10,000 followers, which is one of the reasons a lot of people have that number in their head is being the optimum to try and reach quite quickly, you know, which isn't, I don't think it's necessarily a goal to chase.

Shona Chambers (:

So, so what I'm sort of saying there in a long way, as you know, I would start off with a couple of places that you can use to build audience, to drive them somewhere else. That's kind of the Holy grail, I think for marketing.

Vicki Weinberg (:

Thank you. And I do want to talk about both email lists and content on your own website in a moment. But so one more question on social media is what sorts of content you recommend sharing initially, because I think it can be tempting. I imagine if you've just launched a product or you've got your products on the way to just talk about that nonstop, but obviously that isn't going to engage people. That's not necessarily going to interest people, you know, the odd posts might, but presumably you need to be sharing other content as well. What kinds of things would you recommend

Shona Chambers (:

Anything think that your audience is interested in? And you know, if you're talking about Instagram, you've got around, you want to plan things for about nine squares at a time because generally people won't scroll back for miles and miles, unless they absolutely love what you're talking about in all your posts. So it's almost like you want to have a rolling bank of content and topics that you regularly talk about, pay attention to what your audience responds to. So, you know, you can use your metrics to check which posts are resonating with people and which aren't, but I would say you want to have posts about yourself. You know, you can do posts about 10 facts about me, that kind of thing.

Shona Chambers (:

People love those. So you're kind of giving a bit more background to yourself as a person. And then you might, might want to talk about topics that you care about. So it could be that you post about, you know, eco friendly topics. So things that are going on in the world, if that relates to your product, which I think increasingly it does, because we're all trying to make a difference to the world. You know, content that's interesting in a way, could you connect your audience to each other? Is that something they're interested in? So community based posts, you know, a lot of people do those. So it could be once a week, you say, okay, I'm going to try and connect you today.

Shona Chambers (:

So here's the topic, you know, you can chat to each other in the comments, you know, which is great for

your posts as well. Just have a good idea about the things that other people care about and are interested in because social media is no different than real life. You wouldn't go to a party and only talk about yourself. You try and find out more about the other person. You try and bring lots of topics and see what interests them. And at what point you start to lose them. So that's the certain job that you have on social media basically to show all of you and projective rounded character.

Vicki Weinberg (:

Thank you. And I'm assuming, but I think I probably shouldn't have shame. I should ask you that. Is it okay to share other people's content? It is shaming it's relevant to your audience rather than creating everything from scratch. So can you create content that you believe would be relevant rather than sort of brought, you know, you know, creating everything from scratch every time?

Shona Chambers (:

Absolutely. I think a lot of people do that as well, especially when there's particular weeks and themes on Instagram and other places, but you know, there's just been world mental health day. So a lot of people have been sharing content from other people that's been particularly important for that topic. I think, you know, it's, it's, I've, I've heard people before talk about trying to make your social media a bit like a magazine and magazine is ferried. So you wouldn't necessarily have the same topic on every page, in a magazine. And in the same way, it's fine to have interviews with other people, put a spotlight on those. It's all about building community really.

Shona Chambers (:

And part of that is helping other people.

Vicki Weinberg (:

Thank you. And I'm glad you said that because that's certainly something that I've taken on my own social media profile tinychipmunk, my brand, particularly on Facebook, I found actually the articles and things to get the most engagement are generally ones about things like popular baby names or what does it mean if you're born in October and basically interesting articles that I found around the web that might appeal to a new mom and those tend to be the ones that, that do the best particular baby names. I'm not sure why that is. So yeah, I'm glad you said that that's okay as a strategy. I wasn't sure if that was being lazy or not. So good to have that from you. Thank you. And in terms of content that you do create yourself.

Vicki Weinberg (:

So you mentioned trying to get people over to your website. So how important is it to have your own blog or news section? If you have a website of your writing, which obviously you should have a website for your own.

Shona Chambers (:

So blogging blogging is one of those things that it had had a real moment, you know, a few years ago. And I think a lot of people then migrated from it onto social media as a whole, but we're starting to see now, you know, some of the, well, the bigger influences out there. I mean, obviously podcasting is now very popular because voice marketing is really important. And likewise, you know, people are going back to sharing and other places as in social media. So I think blogging works on so many different levels. Obviously it gives you something to share.

Shona Chambers (:

It's a long form, it's a long form media medium. So, you know, you might be writing, you know, eight, 800 words or so on a topic, but you can then kind of pick the bones of that for your social media as well. So you can pull out quotes, you can pull out statistics and you can turn those into posts for your social media. So in itself, writing a long piece of content, you know, ideally a few times a month, a it's great for your website because websites, Google loves new information. So the more changes you make to a website, the better, and it gives your S it gives you a chance to pop up on different parts of Google as well.

Shona Chambers (:

Because if you're talking about your topic and one of your blogs does particularly well, then that will start to be suggested to people in search results as well, as well as your own general website being suggested. So it's kind of like having lots of little bites at the cherry to get people's attention and have them coming back to your website. So yeah, I think they are still really important.

Vicki Weinberg (:

Thank you. And yeah, the reason that I asked about that is because I feel that I know that getting people onto your own website is really important, even if you sell your products somewhere else. So for example, when I launched, I launched on Amazon on my own website and I still sell on Amazon today. And I'm still making sales there everyday, but obviously getting people to your own website is the key. Because then as you mentioned earlier, you get their email address. You can start building up your own list, which you don't have if you sell somewhere else, but it's always a challenge, particularly if you're selling your products somewhere other than your website, which many of us are, is always a challenge to get people to your own website because often people will just go to Amazon or Etsy when they're looking to purchase something.

Vicki Weinberg (:

So what are some things we can do to get people to come onto our website and hopefully sign up for our email lists?

Shona Chambers (:

I mean, well, one thing I would have a link to your email sign up everywhere. So anywhere that you are on the web, have a, have a link. So for example, on Instagram and Twitter, you can have link tree. So it's a free tool. And then that clicks off to somewhere else and you can have as many links as you like in there. So

that's one way. So you can drive people not only to your website, but it's your email sign up from those links. I think, including a link to your email sign up on blocks as well. It's a great thing to do because that way you've got an engaged audience you've really enjoyed reading.

Shona Chambers (:

And you know, then they may well sign up to your email list as well from that point. So it's giving people lots of opportunities to, you know, to sign up where wherever you are doing your kind of social media thing, day in and day out, you know, you've got to make sure you optimize your profiles as well. So that, that works the best that it can for you.

Vicki Weinberg (:

Thank you. And how do we encourage people to sign up for our email lists? Because I guess people would need to know what, you know, what it is they're going to get. What you know, why, because I don't know about you showing it, but I'm on so many email lists and I forget signed off and I get emails and I unsubscribed because I don't know why I was on there in the first place. And I guess all of us have really busy inboxes. So what can we do to encourage people to actually want to give us their email addresses?

Shona Chambers (:

So I would say you want to build a consistent schedule of emailing. So you need to tell people when they're going to get an email from you. So I that every Friday, and I tell people that all the time on all my posts, you know, if you like my tips, sign up and you're going to get an email every Friday for me with tips and articles, and then, you know, unless there's a fire or something, I stick to that, you know, they get an email from me

on a Friday. So that helps to build that trust that when I pop up in our inbox, they're not surprised. And I do have an above average delivery rate on emails and all the rest of it.

Shona Chambers (:

So I think you can help yourself by doing that. So the other thing to mention is to your call to action on all your marketing materials. So you have to tell people what you want them to do. It's no good just in content that looks nice or is educational or anything. You need to tell people what they should do as a result of the information you've given them. And if you want them to sign up to your email list, you need to tell them that. So never put anything on the internet without a clear call to action. And it works. You know, people, people are busy, people are bombarded, and I think making it as easy as possible to just get them to do that next step is, is really the, you know, the thing that works.

Vicki Weinberg (:

Thank you. And I'm guessing what people might be thinking is that for our products business, you might not necessarily be creating a lot of content or wanting to create a lot of content to send out any emails. Is there anything else we can do to incentivize people to give us their email addresses? I mean, I'm thinking one is that if your product isn't launched, you might want people to get on an email, get people on an email list by

saying, I don't know, there'll be a special launch price, or you'll find out my products ready or something like that. I think it'd be for your products out. That might be a good strategy to be able to say, okay, if you get on my email list, now you'll be the first to hear when these products ready, you'll get 10% off the price or whatever. But beyond that, when we've had, we've got our product is ready for sale, how can we encourage people at that point to get onto our list in the first place, particularly if we don't want to necessarily blog every week or, or create a lot of original email content.

Shona Chambers (:

Yeah. So I guess it's doing things like this today. I mean, if you've got a product coming out, then you want to be getting, getting in front of the right audience. So you should be thinking about who has podcasts or who's doing Facebook lives that you can maybe do a shared Facebook live with somebody else that's relevant. If you've got your channels ready, then you could be doing the same thing. So you could kind of build it into a discussion. So you could be talking about, you know, your products and what it's going to be like and the sizes and the benefits, and then at the end of it, and please sign up to the email to, to sort of get more information from me as soon as it's ready.

Shona Chambers (:

So it's kind of looking for as many places as possible that don't have to be your own kind of social media posts to sort of have a chance to say that to people that they can sign up to your, so your email list.

Vicki Weinberg (:

Thank you. Have you things that I've done as well for my email list, I'll be interested in whether you think these are any good or not. Is when people buy a product for me to have a little card inside the actual product packaging, which says, sign up to my email list to get 10% off your next daughter, which has, has done. Okay. And I also have, cause my first product I launched with some that Bambi swaddles. So I also have a free guide on seven ways to swaddle weight. If you sign up to my email list, you'll get that email to you. That's probably the biggest driver of people to my list, actually more so than the 10% they seem to really want that free guide. So I'd be interested. Is that a good approach? Obviously it took a little bit of work to pull that together, but now obviously it's almost like promote the link, which I'll be really honest.

Vicki Weinberg (:

I keep forgetting to do it. Does sort of bring consistently bring people in. Is, is that a good tactic or is there anything else I could I, and everyone else could or should be doing?

Shona Chambers (:

I think having a lead magnet, which is what you're talking about is a great idea. It's identifying things that are important for your customers. So you can actually do that by jumping onto Google and looking up topics around your product and looking at what other people are searching for right now and using that to base, to create li content for your customers. So, you know, you might find that people are looking at how do I get my

baby to sleep? You know? So if you produce content back for them, that's around that topic, then they're naturally going to want it. So you can use Google just to find out the, the topics that people are interested in and then use that to, to create something.

Shona Chambers (:

So I would always check in with the popular search terms for your audience before you create a feast of content.

Vicki Weinberg (:

Okay. Thank you. And that's actually what I did originally, which was fairly long time ago. Now I looked up and apparently the top question around swaddling at least five years ago was how do I support all my babies? So I put together this guide on a few different ways to do that. And I don't know wherever as many people are searching for that, for that now, but yeah, certainly then it was something people were looking for and it was, and it's related to my products as well. I've since created some other products where that might not be as relevant, but my business, well, it is. So I'm guessing people, you know, if you sold, I'm trying to think of an example. And I suppose if you sold with skincare, you could have a lead magnet on, I don't know, taking care of your top tips for blubbing skin or something, or, you know, obviously that needs a little bit more thought, but I guess, is that what you're saying that your lead magnet has to relate to a challenge your customer might have, would ideally your product solve the problem they've got or does it not have to be as specific as is that it just needs to have some sort of relevance?

Shona Chambers (:

I think you're looking for ways that you can be directly relevant to your customer. So if it was a skin care product, it could be something like, you know, eco-friendly ways to look after your baby's skin. People. You're always going to get an audience for that because there will always be parents that care about that kind of thing, you know? It's. Yeah. So I think you are trying to build a link back to you. So anything that is yeah, appealing and directly relevant to your audience that you can offer would be a great lead Mack.

Vicki Weinberg (:

Great. Thank you. Cause I guess if, if often I think people might sign up for the lead magnet after buying your product, but I guess it can also work the other way that if you have a great lead magnet, it might encourage them to buy your product.

Shona Chambers (:

Oh, definitely. Yeah. I mean, once you've got them on your email list, that's a great place to have somebody from a marketing point of view. I think one of the, one of the points about marketing these days is that it's not about tricking in people. You're not trying to trick people into doing anything. You are trying to help them because you're marketing to the right people. So you need to be very clear on who your audience is and why you are for them. So all you're doing through marketing is trying to help them find you and to stay with you

because you always have in your mind that you're trying to help that customer.

Shona Chambers (:

So, you know, your emails should be full of value. You know, you do not want to be selling our emails that are just about sailing every so often. You know, maybe one in four emails can be just about selling because you know, people appreciate they're on a commercial mailing list. And at the end of the day, hopefully they want to buy what you're selling. So you can almost go too far the other way as well with people, you can find that you're not selling enough and then people don't buy for me because they get out of the habit of thinking. That's what they're there for. So the art of a good email market, a marketing email is something that delivers value that people are grateful to receive that they're glad to hear from you, but also it reinforces the fact that you are there to sell a product.

Shona Chambers (:

So there's quite a lot to get into your marketing schedule. Really?

Vicki Weinberg (:

Yeah. And how often, ideally, so you, you, you said it was specifically for products. You'll see, you've got any, you got an email list, whatever size, how often, ideally, should you be emailing that list? What kind of things do you tell them? Because I'm assuming it's not just a repetition of the content you're putting on social media necessarily. What kind of things do they want to hear about what sort of, what, what should you be writing?

Shona Chambers (:

I think so I email once a week. Some people email every day, I think that's terrible. I would never do that, but I'm not gonna tell anyone else what to do in that way. I think less than once a month, you might not as well bother because people will forget about you. And like you said earlier, they unsubscribed because they think, Oh, what's that? And they just don't want to see it. So, you know, I think, I can't remember who said it, but people generally need to see things about seven times before they take action. So if you're turning out every week in their inbox, email inbox, you're on social media with them, you're in Facebook groups chatting naturally helping being that once the questions and you're doing other things like PR, which, you know, PR can come in lots of forms.

Shona Chambers (:

And maybe as you get bigger, you start to do paid for advertising as well, which is a whole other thing, you know, you will start to get to the point where people who want, who liked what you're offering and want to buy it. They'll be grateful and glad to hear from you and your emails. So, you know, depending on who you are, you might get to the point where people are also interested in what you're doing. So something that I talk about quite a lot to my audience, this is books and what I'm reading, what I'm listening to, because I know they like that too. So being able to help people out with useful content, perhaps it's a documentary that you've watched on Netflix that's directly relevant to your audience.

Shona Chambers (:

So recently there has been some massive documentaries coming out like the David Attenborough documentary, a life life on our planet. You know, if you're selling Eco-Products to people, then you could talk to your audience about that. Similarly, the social dialogue, Emma was another massive documentary that came out and has provided a real talking point for a lot of people, particularly people maybe with children who are old enough to be using social media themselves. So that was something as well that has sparked a lot of conversation. So I think it's relevant to talk to your audience about these things and give your spin on it as an influencer of your audience, you know, go and look at this because it will help you with that.

Shona Chambers (:

You know, this is really useful at the moment. I think a lot of the time, the, the weekend magazines in the guardian and observer so useful because they quite often hear rate content for us and tell us what we should do. So, you know, there's so much out there, you're like a connect, it's your audience. You're trying to say to them, I'm a filter for what's good online, you know, or good in the world right now. And I'm going to tell you about all these things. And then they remember you in connection to those good things too, like you said earlier about, is it okay to share content? Absolutely. Especially when it reinforces your own core values.

Shona Chambers (:

I think so. Yeah. Very much emails can be about what you've been doing lately. What's affected you in a positive way. It might be, I know none of us can really do at the moment, but it might be somebody that you've been recently maybe to a networking event where you heard about a great topic that you got to share back with your audience, you know, or it could just be somewhere that you went to relax. You know, wellness is such a great topic as well now. So if you went through a new cafe and you tried a great green tea, you know, you could talk about that. So you should never really run out of things to say. And I think that leads on to having the marketing power.

Shona Chambers (:

Social media is one part of marketing and, you know, having a good overarching structure for what you're doing is, is another thing that I say to clients that they should really try and have, because you don't have these problems where you think, Oh, I don't know what I should be posting today. Or, you know, I don't know what I'm doing because you've already got your objectives and your goals to go with them. And social media is just part of that

Vicki Weinberg (:

In the simplest form. Is that about thinking about the kind of content you could share on any given day week and where you might share it? So I'm thinking, yeah, I'm thinking of someone who is just starting out because obviously if you, especially, if you don't have any marks in experience and marketing plan can sounds a bit daunting. So sort of breaking it into like a simple form. Is that really about thinking, okay, these

are my goals. So I want five, I want to grow my email list. I want to generate this many sales or whatever it is you want to do. And then thinking about, okay, I'm using these channels and this is the content I'm going to post this day. This week is in its simplest form.

Vicki Weinberg (:

Is that what that's about? Just being a bit strategic and planning rather than just winging it and posting something when you feel like it.

Shona Chambers (:

Exactly. Yes. And it's seven plus form. It's very, it's about getting you organized. Absolutely. So, you know, it' about having your goals and then deciding how you're going to achieve them through the communication channels that you have and whether or not you need to build up other things. And, you know, I would say planning a marketing plan, doesn't have to be something that you have for even a year or longer. You can have itfor three months. That's quite a useful period to, to look at. So now for people, I mean, obviously we're kind of in that position where we're going into the start of the new year. So, you know, marketing plan at the moment for somebody might be, you know, what do I want to get done this year?

Shona Chambers (:

And then what's going to be the big things for January, because January and February are massive months, I think for sales for people because, you know, you've got Christmas out of the way and people are excited for something new. And I think this year, this period, more than ever, because, you know, we're all a bit fed up at me with this coronavirus going on forever and ever. And I think if you're launching something new that, you know, already people want and are excited about, then thinking where you want it to be for January is a great idea right now.

Vicki Weinberg (:

Thank you. And so I think it's a good time. Maybe it is to talk a little bit about, so obviously we've spoken about lots of things you can do yourself, but if this sounds really overwhelming and you do need a bit of help, what kind of things can a professional marketer do for you?

Shona Chambers (:

I mean, one of the things that I would advise people to start off with, if they're going to, you could do it yourself where you could work with a professional or is it yourself? So, I mean, if you're completely preoperative thing, then that's a tricky thing you can't really, or is it if you're not established, but if you've already got some social media going, if you've already got a website, those kinds of things, it's a good idea to have a look at it with an objective pair of eyes and say, am I optimizing these tools that I'm using? You know, am I, am I generating some good traction here or not? Am I using my logo in the same way across all my different channels?

Shona Chambers (:

You know, there's so much you can look into on a brand audit. I mean, one of the easy ones anyone can do is to pull up a Google tab, go into incognito mode and see what comes up on page one for you. And just check that because you would be surprised. You want to see what other people would see about you and your company if they were searching for you. So that's an easy thing that a professional could do for you. Or you could do yourself along the same lines. A marketing plan is something that somebody could do for you. So, you know, you work together. So you work out who's your ideal customer.

Shona Chambers (:

And then what should a three-month program of marketing look like to support your sales there's apps that you loads of brilliant social media managers out there, depending on the size of your, but you could have somebody take all of your social media hassles away from you and run that for you every month. So that's another thing, you know, that you can have a professional do for you. There's PR professionals as well, who will help you to get mentioned in the right places? You know, that's, that's a really good use of your marketing money as well, I would say. So there's quite a lot of things that you might want to hand over to somebody else.

Vicki Weinberg (:

Thank you. And I have a question that I'm sure is on people's minds, is that expensive?

Shona Chambers (:

I mean, it all depends on how much money you're making really from things. I mean, and also there's always people at different points in their career. So, you know, there's some really great training programs out there, like digital moms and often there's people who are completing those studies. So maybe you can work with them for less money than somebody who's fully qualified, you know, and I do see quite a sliding scale for, for anything from about 500 pounds a month to have your social media links after, to, you know, quite a lot more. And that comes down to what you want an expert to do for you when they're online.

Shona Chambers (:

So whether they're just posting for you with their writing or your content, whether they're researching new audiences, you know, whether they're kind of designing your whole social media strategy as well. So those kinds of things, I think there's quite a sliding scale cost.

Vicki Weinberg (:

Okay. Thank you. But it does sound like what you're saying is it doesn't necessarily mean that I guess we've a lot of things is I'm sure they've all instances of where you get what you pay for, but it does sound like there are ways to get people to find people to work with, but aren't going to be outside of your budget potentially. Yes, I think so. Yeah. Thank you. So I'm just trying to keep an eye on the time of be mindful of the time that we've got this morning, Shane. So if somebody wants to actually things new, you know, actually what I want,

I want to give this a go, I'd like to do my own marketing. I know that you've just released your book with a hundred marketing tips for small businesses. Do you want to just briefly just tell us a bit about your book and who that might be of interest to, you know, the kind of things that it helps people with?

Shona Chambers (:

Absolutely. So the reason I wrote my book was because I wrote a blog a couple of years ago called 50 free marketing tips for small business owners. And every time I published it, I got so much good feedback. And I started to think this is the kind of thing people want. So busy, small business owners were saying to me, I don't have time to do this, this and this, but your tips are great because I can just do them and try something new today. So just to give one from that blog, it was make sure you optimize your email signature. So if you're, you've got projects at the moment or events, make sure you include them in there. Simple quick. Anyone can do that.

Shona Chambers (:

So when I wrote the book, I had that in mind, but I did also want to think about the fact that I think a lot of people think these days that marketing is social media. It isn't just social media. There's quite a lot more to it than that. So what you'll find in my book is eight sections from marketing Planning, through to digital media, touching on things like your marketing offer, promotion people and networking. So there's eight sections. So you can kind of work your way through it and read all the tips and do all the tips or especially if you're a new business or if you're a more established business, it's like a checklist for you. You can work through it and think, Oh yeah, I already know that I've done that.

Shona Chambers (:

Oh, but this section is perfect for me. So I think there's something there for lots of people, obviously this year with coronavirus, we've got more people than ever who was starting up a new business and wanting to have an online business, particularly because of all the restrictions that we've got. So I would say this book could be perfect for somebody who is literally just walking out the door from a corporate role, wants to start a small business because they think that's good for them, but they might not even know what that is yet. So this book gives you a good introduction to your marketing fits non jargon-y. And I think pretty much anyone can understand the way that it's been written.

Vicki Weinberg (:

Thank you so much. And yeah, I'm definitely gonna be working through the tips in your book because marketing is definitely, you know, one of my, I don't want to say downsides, but one thing that I don't particularly enjoy and I'm perhaps not great at. So yeah, I will definitely be whacking through those tips, Shona, and I'm going to link to the book in the show notes and everyone can find it really easily. And yeah, I would encourage you all to go and, and download the bit gets in there. I should actually say the reason I'm saying download is it's digital backs. You can download it and start working from it because I think it is a fantastic resource. If you're, you know, you're not ready for any reason to get someone to help you be a

marketing just yet, there are lots of things in there that you can do yourself.

Vicki Weinberg (:

And actually, I think possibly there's something to be said when you first start for doing things yourself as well, because it gives you a bit of, you know, ink coverage, as you think about your brand and your messaging and who you're trying to reach when you're at stage, when you, when you're still small and you can make all of those decisions. I think it's, it's good to have a sense of who you are and what you're about, especially in the early days. So thank you so much for your time today, Shona, and for everything for us, as I say, if you pop over to the show notes, linked to Shonas book, her website, your social media, everything else is on there. So please do go over and follow her. It'd be great. And if you have any questions or feedback following this episode, we would love to hear from you as well.

Vicki Weinberg (:

So you can get in touch with IVF us, if there's anything that you'd like to know more about. So again, Shona, thank you so much for your time today and for everything you've shared.

Shona Chambers (:

Thank you very much.

Vicki Weinberg (:

Thank you. Well, thank you so much. Listen to this episode today as always, I really hope you enjoyed it and found it useful. I'd love to know what you think. You can email me Vicki@tinychipmunk.com. Don't forget that to make sure you don't miss out on any future episodes. You can always subscribe. Thank you so much. And looking forward to speaking to you next week,